Penn State Downs #10 Lehigh in 100th Meeting Between Rivals
Dec. 9, 2011
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -
The fifth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team dominated No. 10 Lehigh in the 100th dual meet between the two venerable eastern powers and rolled to a 24-12 win in LU's Stabler Arena. The Nittany Lions won six of ten bouts, bolted out to a big early lead and coasted to the victory to take a 63-34-3 lead in the all-time series.
True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) ranked No. 15 nationally at 125, put Penn State up 3-0 early with a resounding 4-0 win (with 2:44 in riding time) over Lehigh's Mason Beckman. Lehigh countered with a 10-7 win for Chris Dinnien over Lion junior Derek Reber (Lewisburg, Pa.) at 133. Junior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) made his season dual debut in fine fashion with a dominating 12-2 major over LU's Jimmy Carucci (with over 4:00 in riding time) at 133. Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 1 at 149, then dominated Lehigh's Anthony Salupo to the tune of a 14-3 major with 3:53 in riding time. Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 10 at 157, majored Sean Bilodeau 10-1 to give Penn State a 15-3 lead at the break.
In marquee match-up at 165, Penn State All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1, downed No. 9 Brandon Hatchett 8-5 with 1:09 in riding time. All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 174, then built up a 12-1 lead over LU's Nathaniel Brown after two periods before Brown injury defaulted, giving Ruth the six team points and clinching the dual meet victory for Penn State (24-3). In a rematch of last year's national championship bout at 184, Nittany Lion Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), the defending national champion, dropped a tough 8-3 decision to top-ranked Robert Hamlin, whom he defeated in the finals last year. At 197, 10th-ranked Lion freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) was held out of action after being a bit banged up from the Nittany Lion Open last Sunday. Junior Justin Ortega (Oxford, Pa.) stepped in and nearly upset No. 7 Joe Kennedy of Lehigh before dropping a hard-fought 2-0 decision. Nittany Lion senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 8 at heavyweight, then lost a hard-fought 3-2 decision to defending national champion Zach Rey.
Penn State moves to 2-1 on the year while Lehigh falls to 5-3. Penn State dominated the dual statistically as well, winning the takedown battle 16-7 and picking up riding time points in six matches (while Ruth had over 3:00 in his injury default win). Penn State picked up six bonus points to none for LU as well.
Penn State returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 11, when West Virginia visits Rec Hall for a 2 p.m. match-up. A very limited number of ticket remains for the WVU dual, fans can purchase them by calling 814-865-5555. Tickets are priced at $8 for adults and $5 for youth (18 and under) and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day or in person at the Bryce Jordan Center box office. A maximum of four tickets may be purchased per person.
The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live, WIEZ (690 AM) in Huntingdon/Lewistown carries all Sunday events and further affiliates may be added soon. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package, which will also feature live video streams of many home events. Ticket information is accessed easily online at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets/m-wrestl-tickets.html . Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2011-12 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
133: Junior Derek Reber (Lewisburg, Pa.) took on LU's Chris Dinnien at 133. Dinnien caught Reber on the edge of the mat, nearly pinning him but getting the quick takedown. Reber, however, deftly reversed the Hawk wrestler for a 2-2 tie at the 1:20 mark. Reber then put together a strong ride, building up over a minute in time. But Dinnien reversed Reber and then turned him to his back for three near fall points to lead 7-2 after one period. Reber chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 7-3 deficit. Reber got in on a low single and forced a scramble, but Dinnien countered the move for his own takedown to up his lead to 9-3 with :20 left. Reber escaped before the period ended and nearly scored at the end of the period, but time ran out and the Lion trailed 9-4. Dinnien chose down to start the final period and escaped to a 10-4 lead. Reber then got his first takedown and then began trying to turn the Hawk, trailing 10-6. Dinnien was able to keep from giving up the near fall and, though Reber got the riding time point, won 10-7.
141: Junior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) took to the mat for Penn State at 141 to take on Lehigh's Jimmy Carucci. Pearsall, making his season dual debut, turned a low single into a takedown on the edge of the mat to lead 2-0 at the 2:18 mark. Once in control on top, Pearsall began looking for an opportunity to turn Carucci for back points. Pearsall stayed in control and got a two point near fall with :30 on the clock to lead 4-0. The Lion junior then tagged on two more back points as the period ended to lead 6-0. Carucci chose neutral to start the second period but Pearsall quickly got in on a single, forced a scramble that lasted nearly :30, and finished off the takedown to lead 8-0 with 1:15 on the clock. Pearsall spent the rest of the period looking for a turn and kept control for a ride out and an 8-0 lead with 3:36 in RT. Pearsall chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 9-0 lead. But Carucci got his first takedown to cut the lead to 9-2 with 1:25 on the clock. Pearsall, with a clinched riding time point, reversed Carucci to lead 11-2 with 1:00 left in the match. Pearsall forced Carucci into a stall warning with :17 on the clock and then rode the Hawk out for a 12-2 major with 4:17 in RT.
149: Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 1 at 149, met Lehigh's Anthony Salupo. Molinaro got his first takedown by using a high single and lift to put Salupo to the mat with 1:48 on the clock. Molinaro then put together a strong ride, keeping Salupo on the mat for the rest of the period to lead 2-0 with 1:48 in riding time after one. Molinaro chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. Molinaro then used a high double to take Salupo down once more for a 5-0 lead with 1:10 on the clock. Molinaro cut Salupo loose with :45 on the clock to begin looking for another takedown. But Salupo turned in quickly and took the Lion senior down to cut the lead to 6-3 after a quick Molinaro escaped. An energized Molinaro notched another takedown with :10 on the clock and led 8-3 with 2:20 in RT after two. Salupo chose neutral to start the third period but Molinaro quickly scored again, lifting the Hawk off the mat and taking a 10-3 lead with 1:20 on the clock and a clinched riding time point. Molinaro then turned Salupo for three near fall points and a 13-3 lead. Salupo could not break free and Molinaro's ride out gave him the 14-3 major with 3:53 in riding time.
157: Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 10 at 157, met Lehigh's Sean Bilodeau. Alton scored first, getting an early takedown to lead 2-1 after a Bilodeau escape. The duo battled evenly after that with Bilodeau fighting off numerous Alton shots to keep the bout close. But Alton's pressure paid off as the Lion freshman got a late takedown, sending Bilodeau to his back for three near fall points and a 7-1 lead after one period. Bilodeau chose down to start the second stanza but Alton was dominant in control, keeping Bilodeau down and building up a 2:37 riding time advantage with a ride out. Leading 7-1, Alton chose neutral to start the third. Alton quickly gained control of Bilodeau's right ankle, forcing a tie-up on the edge of the mat. But a stalemate sent action back to the center circle with 1:08 on the clock with Alton still up 7-1. Alton forced Bilodeau's head to the mat, circled around the LU grappler and upped his lead to 9-1 with another takedown. An Alton ride out and a bonus point gave the Lion a 10-1 major and put Penn State up 15-3 at the intermission.
165: Sophomore All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165, battled Lehigh senior Brandon Hatchett, who was ranked No. 9. Taylor fought off an early Hatchett shot but was then taken down to trail 2-0 at the 2:08 mark. Taylor deftly scrambled his way to a reversal and a 2-2 tie with 1:20 on the clock. Hatchett escaped to a 3-2 lead with :40 on the clock and carried that lead into the second period. Taylor chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 3-3 tie. He never lost contact w/ Hatchett, forced a scramble and got his first takedown at the 1:40 mark to lead 5-3. Hatchett escaped to a 5-4 deficit at the 1:10 mark. Taylor used a quick low double off a reset w/ :10 left to take Hatchet down again and lead 7-4 after two. Hatchett chose down to start the final period but could not break free of Taylor's control as the Lion sophomore built up a 1:09 time edge before Hatchett escaped to a 7-5 deficit. Taylor fought off a late Hatchett shot and with the bonus point, posted an 8-5 win.
174: Sophomore All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 174, met Lehigh freshman Nathaniel Brown. Ruth scored first, getting a quick takedown to lead 2-0 at the 2:43 mark. He quickly tried to lock up a cradle and end the bout, but Brown was able to roll through to stay in the match. Ruth finished off a nearside cradle for three near fall points and a 5-0 lead midway through the period. Ruth maintained control of Brown for the rest of the period and led 5-0 with 2:42 in riding time heading to the second. Ruth chose down and steadily worked his way to a reversal and a 7-0 lead. Ruth then cut Brown loose at the :30 mark and added another takedown at the :18 mark. He locked up a cradle and nearly pinned Brown at the buzzer, picking up three near fall points to lead 12-1 with a clinched riding time point (3:34) heading into the third. Brown could not continue after being injured as the period ended and Ruth got six team points for the injury default (he was leading 12-1 at the time).
184: In a rematch of last year's national championship bout at 184, junior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 5 as the defending national champion, took on No. 1 Robert Hamlin of Lehigh, last year's runner-up. Hamlin drew first blood with a strong takedown to lead 2-1 after a quick Wright escape. Wright nearly picked up a takedown, forcing a solid scramble on the edge of the mat, but Hamlin was able to work his way into position to notch his second takedown and lead 4-1 after one period. Wright chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 4-2 deficit. Wright worked for a takedown but Hamlin was able to hold his 4-2 lead heading into the third. Hamlin chose down to start the period, quickly reversed Wright and led 6-3 after a quick Lion escape. Wright attacked Hamlin, appearing to take him down at the :40 mark, but Wright did not get the call and trailed by three still. Hamlin countered a slight Wright shot, added another takedown and posted a strong 8-3 win over Wright
197: Junior Justin Ortega (Oxford, Pa.) filled in for No. 10 Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) at 197 to take on No. 7 Joe Kennedy of Lehigh. Ortega appeared to have a takedown, locking up a cradle on the edge of the mat. But like Wright before him, he did not get the call and the bout moved on at a scoreless tie. The Lion junior battled the fifth-year LU senior evenly for the entire period and went to the second period tied 0-0. Kennedy chose down to start the second stanza and worked his way to an escape and a 1-0 lead. The duo traded shots for the bulk of the period with neither wrestler finding a solid opening to score until Ortega nearly finished off a high single as the period ended. But the buzzer sounded and action moved to the final period with Ortega down 1-0. Ortega chose down to start the third period but could not break free of a strong Kennedy ride as the seventh-ranked senior built up more than a minute in riding time first and then rode Ortega out for a hard-fought 2-0 win.
285: Nittany Lion senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 8 at heavyweight, took on defending national champion Zach Rey of Lehigh, who was ranked No. 3. The duo battled evenly for the first period, with neither man finding a real solid opening to score as action remained in the center circle. The bout went to the second period in a scoreless tie and Rey chose down to start the second. A quick escape gave the third-ranked Rey a 1-0 lead and the duo continued action in the center circle. Rey got the bout's first takedown at the :58 mark, using a high single to take a 3-1 lead after Wade escaped. Trailing 3-1 after two periods, Wade chose down to start the final period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 deficit. Wade worked for an opening to take the lead, but Rey's defense was solid and the Mountain Hawk All-American was able to hold on to his lead and escape with a tough 3-2 win.